Sunday, February 6, 2011

Choronzon : Ziggurat of Dead Shibboleths - Electronic / Experimental / Industrial Metal / Progressive Metal / occult

Reviewed by Gird_09

New material from Choronzon is always exciting, and this particular album has been long anticipated. We've done reviews of Choronzon here earlier and my enthusiasm for the project has certainly not diminished since then.

If you're familiar with the band's style this album won't come as a surprise to you. It's dark, eclectic and edgy, with a basis in metal and progressive music. The album manages to contain both the hallucinatory and lengthy the Dead, and tracks based in more traditional metal in way that never seems forced. From the get go it's a bit heavier than I'd expect, and the album starts off forcefully and goes right for the kill. I like that.

As with all of Choronzon's work this is full of references, and occult references in particular. A ziggurat is ritual structure similar to a pyramid (or even more like a kofun), but found in Mesopotamia, while Shibboleth refers to a biblical story. The exact meaning of the album title eludes me at the moment, but the juxtaposition of the two terms certainly triggers my curiosity. Perhaps the album is a sort of altar on which no longer valid practices of differentiation are sacrificed. Hell if I know. Interpreting the work to it's full extent is way beyond this review though.

The occult references in titles like The Great Work, and the Revealing is even more evident. I've claimed that Choronzon's music is apocalyptic both in the latter world-ending meaning, as well as the original revelatory meaning – and that's a claim I stand by. All you need to be convinced is a listen to the track the Dead, and you're sold.

It's no secret that I laud P. Emerson Wiliams' vocals any chance I get but I have to say that this album represents an apex so far. His voice is more focused than earlier, and the darker content of the music is expertly carried over by the vocals. Cos, have no doubt, this album is very dark. Darker than what I expected in fact, and with more overt metal roots than we've heard from Choronzon for quite some time now. Listen to the guitars on Monoliths Down or the speed metal riffing on Spacedust to Spacedust, and you'll see what I mean. This shift towards heavier music is welcome, but Choronzon retains its mystical roots and strange blend of styles as well. Love it.

It's hard to compare the music to anything else, so I'm not going to. Suffice to say that it's progressive occult electronic metal, and you really need to check it out if you can. I have to say, that this is my favorite album by Choronzon so far. I'm not kidding. It's that good. Three thumbs up!

USA, Inner-X-Musick, CD album, 2010

1 Formula [4:33]
2 Identify the Patient [5:09]
3 Monoliths Down [4:29]
4 Ride Through the Night Sky [3:40]
5 Spacedust to Spacedust [6:04]
6 the Dead [10:30]
7 the Great Work [6:34]
8 the Revealing [6:21]
9 Wor Humana [6:19]
10 We Come Into Evening [5:25]
11 Ziggurat of Dead Shiboleths [3:12]

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